Guernsey celebrates Chinese New Year with seventh stamp issue
Guernsey Stamps announces that it will release stamps to celebrate the Year of the Rat, the seventh set in its Chinese New Year series, which begins on 25 January 2020 and ends on 11 February 2021 (stamp issue date: 8 January 2020).
For this year’s set, artist Chrissy Lau - who has worked on Guernsey’s entire Chinese New Year series - has depicted the rat on each intricately designed stamp, which feature accents of gold reflecting the belief, in Chinese culture, of the rat’s association with wealth, abundance and prosperity, as well as fertility and reproduction. The Chinese symbol for rat appears in red and sits on the top left of each stamp.
On the Fortunate Hands stamp (48p), the peony pattern represents wealth and advancement in life. The rat is holding an old Chinese coin, commonly displayed at Chinese New Year to attract wealth.
The Zest for Life rat (65p stamp) embraces his luck. Kumquats, tangerines and oranges are displayed and gifted during Chinese New Year celebrations to present wealth and good fortune. The square pattern and scrolls are ‘clouds’ as seen on the edges of Chinese ceramics; when used in a repeating pattern they symbolise never-ending fortune.
An acrobatic rat is depicted on Fortune Favours the Bold (66p stamp), as he confidently balances his riches. The old Chinese gold coins are a symbol of wealth and fortune, often displayed during the celebrations to attract wealth.
The leaping rat is carrying a popular New Year decoration on With a Bang stamp (80p value). The Chinese symbol on the rat’s body is Fu, meaning good fortune. The firecrackers are lit to ward off negative evil spirits and bad luck. The cherry blossom is often used to decorate homes during Chinese New Year and symbolises the coming of spring and hopes for a prosperous new year.
Two rats surround a moneybag brimming with Chinese coins on Count Your Blessings - a common depiction in Chinese Feng Shui ornaments, which are intended to attract wealth (90p stamp). The chrysanthemum pattern is a symbol of longevity.
According to Chinese philosophy, the Yin & Yang rats represent the balance of dark and light, or negative and positive energy (98p stamp). The endless knot pattern is a symbol of longevity, happiness and prosperity.
Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: - “Taking inspiration from the Chinese zodiac, illustrator Chrissy Lau has created another vivid yet intricate set of stamps for our Chinese New Year series.
“We are also delighted that we have produced two very special limited edition products: a Gold Foil Replica Souvenir Sheet and an Uncut Press Sheet which contains six souvenir sheets - wonderful collectibles that sit alongside the main stamp products,” Bridget added.
The stamp products are available to pre-order from 19 December 2019 at www.guernseystamps.com or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0) 1481 716486.